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Managing Field-Based Employees: 8 Best Practices and Tools to Improve Performance

Managing Field-Based Employees: 8 Best Practices and Tools to Improve Performance

“Can you hear me now?”

“Reception’s choppy!”

“Can you see my screen yet?”

You’ve heard (or said) those things at least once or twice before, especially if you’ve experienced working from home or in a non-traditional office. It’s just some of the unique challenges that come with managing field-based teams and their performance.

Being out of sight and away from the traditional office environment can make it difficult for managers to stay on top of tasks, monitor progress, and ensure deadlines are met.

With the right tools and best practices, managers can effectively manage field-based employees and ensure they perform up to standard.

By utilizing appropriate tools and adopting effective practices, managers can proficiently oversee field workers and ensure their adherence to standards. When choosing such tools and solutions, it is essential that they match your company's niche. For instance, HR administration software exemplifies the proficiency of HR technology professionals, just as project management software showcases the expertise of project management professionals. These solutions involve overseeing the process of introducing new employees and contractors, providing a dedicated login area for pre-starters to receive welcome messages, and ensuring that the system works seamlessly on all mobile devices.

From effective communication to collaborative project management software, these best practices and tools will give managers insight into their field teams' workflows and allow them to identify areas of improvement. By setting up and implementing these strategies, managers can ensure their field-based employees are productive, efficient, and meeting their goals.

This article looks at eight best practices and tools for managing field-based employees that can help improve performance. Let's dive in!

1. Provide Clear Communication Channels

Clear communication

“We can’t hear you!”

That’s not what we want to hear in any team meeting. We also don’t want to experience bad communication in general.

One of the most critical best practices for managing field-based employees is to provide clear communication channels. Staying on top of tasks and monitoring progress when they're out in the field can be challenging without regular contact and feedback.

To ensure your field team has the resources and guidance they need, make sure you have communication channels available. This could include regular check-ins, group chat apps, or even an intranet portal where your employees can access resources and collaborate. But of course, make sure you develop effective communication skills or it’s all for naught in the end.

A reliable way to communicate will help ensure everyone is on the same page and that tasks are completed promptly. It also helps to ensure that any problems or issues can be addressed on time.

2. Establish Goals and Performance Standards

Performance

“This call could’ve been an email.”

Yet another challenge in working in a field-based job.

With a clearly defined set of goals and standards, measuring progress or ensuring work is completed on time can be easy (and you won’t have to keep making calls). Additionally, clear goals mean a clear direction, for example: if you are in the telemarketing field then learning to overcome sales objections would be especially crucial.

Lastly, make sure you set up regular check-ins and performance reviews so you can monitor progress and offer feedback along the way. Key performance indicators (KPIs) can help you measure progress and evaluate employee performance so try it out!

3. Monitor Progress and Adjust Strategies Accordingly

Managing Field-Based Employees

“Were you working today? I couldn’t reach you.”

Yes. We’ve all had our fair share of employees that don’t respond online. But staying on top of your field-based employees' progress and adjusting strategies accordingly can help.

By monitoring performance, you can identify improvement areas and provide feedback as necessary without having to monitor them eight hours a day. Additionally, you can adjust goals and strategies based on the data to ensure your team is on track and meeting targets.

Project management software is a great way to monitor progress and adjust strategies. This type of software can help you track tasks, deadlines, and improvements in real-time so you can stay up-to-date on how your team is performing. Additionally, many of these tools offer analytics and reporting capabilities that allow you to identify areas that need improvement or different approaches to achieving goals. You can use employee monitoring software to monitor and inspect the progress of the employees.

You can also use surveys, interviews, and focus groups to gain insights into your team's performance and identify areas of improvement. This allows you to get valuable feedback on their performance in the field and what changes need to be made.

Finally, make sure you have regular check-ins with your team. This will help ensure everyone is on the same page and that any issues or concerns can be addressed on time. Additionally, it's an excellent opportunity to provide feedback and offer support when needed. By monitoring progress and adjusting strategies accordingly, you can ensure your field-based employees are productive, efficient, and meeting their goals.

Overall, clear communication channels, established goals, and performance standards, monitoring progress, and adjusting strategies are all critical best practices for managing field-based employees. By following these best practices, you can ensure your team is successful in the field!

4. Prioritize Professional Development Opportunities

professional development

You can provide professional development opportunities for your field-based employees. This includes online courses, webinars, or even onsite workshops. Professional development opportunities help employees stay current with industry trends and learn new skills to use in their work. Providing these types of resources helps to ensure that your team has the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in their field.

When prioritizing professional development opportunities, it's essential to consider what specific areas need to be addressed. This can include things like customer service techniques, sales tactics, or technology solutions for managing tasks in the field. Once you identify these areas of need, you can create a plan to provide the appropriate resources and tools.

Look at the interests of your team members when determining what types of professional development opportunities to offer. For example, if some employees are interested in digital marketing or social media skills, you can provide an online course or webinar. By tailoring professional development opportunities to individual interests, you can ensure your team continuously learns and grows in their field.

5. Implement Effective HR System Software Solutions

HR development

For any business to succeed, its Human Resources (HR) system must be up-to-date and efficient. However, this can be challenging for field-based employees as they often need more access to traditional HR resources in an office setting. Implementing effective HR software solutions can help bridge this gap by providing employees with the tools to manage their workload and succeed in their roles.

HR software solutions can encompass various functionalities, such as time tracking, employee scheduling, payroll management, performance reviews, etc. Access to these tools helps streamline processes and ensures all team members are up-to-date on their tasks and responsibilities. Additionally, HR software solutions often include remote access features, making them even more convenient for field-based employees.

When selecting an HR system software solution, consider your specific needs as well as the capabilities of each option. For example, if you need a comprehensive payroll system, you will want to select a solution offering this feature. Additionally, consider the cost of each option and any training and support services provided. Make sure you don’t overlook equipment return software as part of your solution. This software helps you manage the valuable equipment that you send to your remote employees, giving them an easy way to send and receive company-owned equipment using an automated and convenient SaaS.

Once a system has been selected, train all employees. This includes entering time worked, submitting vacation requests, and accessing payroll information. It's also crucial to make sure the system is regularly updated with any new features or changes that may come up.

Implementing effective HR software solutions can provide field-based employees with the tools they need to be successful in their roles. By selecting and training on an appropriate system, you can ensure your team has the resources necessary to succeed.

6. Stay Up To Date on Key Policies & Regulations

best Practices and Tools to Improve Performance

For any business to be successful, all employees must stay up-to-date on critical policies and regulations related to their field. This can be especially difficult for field-based employees who may only sometimes have access to the latest information.

Ensuring your team has the resources needed to stay informed is essential for compliance with industry regulations. One of the best resources available to field-based employees is online learning platforms, such as webinars and video tutorials. These training opportunities can provide your team with important information on new policies and regulations. You can also provide access to relevant documents, such as policy manuals and industry guidelines.

Another helpful resource for field-based employees is contacting local regulatory bodies. Many of these organizations offer newsletters and other communications that can provide the latest news on policies and regulations.

You can set up regular meetings or calls with representatives from these organizations to discuss any relevant changes or updates. Finally, you can set up a policy and regulation library on your company's intranet or website. This should include critical information such as industry guidelines, local regulations, training materials, and more. By providing all this information in one place, your team members can easily access the resources they need to stay informed.

7. Reward Outstanding Work and Celebrate Achievements 

reward employees for productivity

Recognizing and rewarding employees for outstanding work is important to managing a successful team. Not only does it help to build morale and show appreciation, but it can also encourage continued hard work and dedication.

Here are some ways you can celebrate and reward outstanding work for field-based employees:

  • Publicly recognize achievements in company newsletters or emails

When they see themselves recognized publicly, it gives them a sense of pride and fulfillment. You can even give awards such as Employee of the Month or Most Valuable Player to those who demonstrate exceptional performance.

  • Offer additional time off to complete projects quickly and successfully

     

Offering additional time off is a great way to reward your team for completing projects quickly and successfully. This could be in the form of paid vacation time or extra days off throughout the year. You can also offer flexible hours, allowing employees to choose when they work during certain weeks or months. This will enable them to plan around their other commitments while still being able to devote the necessary time and effort to their projects.

  • Provide additional training opportunities or educational resources

Professional development is key to helping employees perform at the highest level and reach their career goals. Investing in your team's growth will help them enhance their skills and increase job satisfaction. Therefore, it is essential to provide frequent opportunities for professional development.

  • Give employees additional responsibilities or special projects to challenge them and help them grow professionally

This can be a great way to show recognition and reward hard work while supporting your team in developing their skills. It can also help build team morale, as employees will feel more empowered and valued if they can take on additional responsibilities. Be careful you don’t overwork them, though!

  • Provide gift cards or other incentives for achieving specific goals

Another way to reward and recognize your team members is by providing gift cards or other incentives for meeting goals or completing projects. Incentives can be a great way to motivate employees and encourage them to work harder.

You could also consider offering prizes, discounts, or other rewards as a thank-you to those who go above and beyond in their work. Rewards and incentives can create a positive working environment where employees feel appreciated and valued for their hard work.

  • Provide access to resources that will help them stay informed

Keeping your employees up-to-date and informed on the latest trends in the industry is important for their professional development. Providing access to resources such as industry publications, webinars, or seminars helps keep your team informed and allows them to continue learning. This will not only show your employees that you value their career growth, but it will also ensure they stay ahead of the competition.

  • Offer praise and recognition during team meetings or on social media

Offering praise and recognition during team meetings or on social media can boost morale and give employees a sense of accomplishment. Also, consider hosting awards ceremonies to recognize those who go above and beyond in their work. This will show your employees you value them, encouraging them to do their best.

  • Offer team-building activities or outings

Team-building activities and outings are a great way to reward employees while fostering teamwork and collaboration. Organize events such as paintball, trivia nights, movie screenings, or hikes to get your team out of the office and have fun together. These activities can strengthen relationships and build employee trust, improving overall morale.

  • Host company events to celebrate the accomplishments of your team members

Another way to reward employees and recognize their hard work is by hosting company events. These could include holiday parties, employee appreciation days, or dinners to celebrate people's successes.

This will allow your team to come together and celebrate each other's accomplishments while having fun in a relaxed atmosphere. It will also show that you care about your team and appreciate their efforts, which will help to boost morale and inspire employees to reach even greater heights.

No matter how you decide to celebrate and reward your employees' achievements, it is important to make sure you do it regularly and with sincerity. Taking the time to recognize and reward excellent work helps create a positive team environment, which ultimately contributes to a successful business.

Conclusion

Recognizing and rewarding your team members for their hard work is key to creating a successful and productive workplace. By providing bonuses, public recognition, or individual awards, you can show appreciation for the effort put in by your employees. Furthermore, this also motivates them to continue striving for excellence. Taking the time to reward outstanding work not only helps build morale but creates an overall positive work environment.

By implementing these strategies regularly, your team can become motivated and eager to put in the hard work needed to reach success.

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